On May 29, we flew to Siem Reap. And boy were our arms tired! Don't we look it?
But seriously...the flight was short.
|Tonle Sap Lake|
|Tonle Sap Lake is really big!|
We got a free pick up from the hotel and realized why it was free when we saw the mode of transport...
|Here we go...|
Paul and I had only been in one other for about 2 minutes in Bangkok. We've been avoiding them because we were afraid it would make Paul's back worse but it actually wasn't too bad. Much more comfortable than Thailand's tuk-tuks.
|See, Paul is quite enjoying the tuk-tuk ride|
The main attraction in Siem Reap is Angkor Wat (which means Temple City), the largest religious monument in the world. So, the next morning (May 30) we got up at 4:30am (again!) to watch the sunrise against this beautiful backdrop.
These are the passes we had to carry around for the day - and yes, those photos were taken just around 5am so that's why I look a little deranged and Paul looks angry.
There were actually quite a lot of tourists despite this time of year being the low season.
|Here we are!|
|Look at all these people!|
|Looking towards the main entrance|
|Lots of people everywhere|
|Monks hanging out|
After the sunrise (where we didn't actually see the sun), we headed in.
|Paul is excited, obviously|
|Check out the walls|
|Can you see the etchings on the side of the wall?|
|I liked how the trees look|
|That's Paul all the way at the end of the corridor|
|A closer shot |
|More close ups|
|This chick took a ton of pics of her friend at the top and then wouldn't get out of the way |
|Pretty steep - we weren't allowed to walk up|
|One of the many towers|
|Pretty cool looking|
|I was annoyed that this guy would not move so I could have a clean shot|
|Bye bye Angkor Wat|
Some facts about Angkor Wat:
- Occupies about 500 acres
- The central tower (from bottom to top) is 699 feet
- King Suryavarman II built Angkor Wat between roughly A.D. 1113 and 1150
- Originally built as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu
- Converted to a Buddhist temple in the 14th century
- Temple is surrounded by a 650 foot wide moat
We then headed to Angkor Thom (which means Great City) to see the Bayon Temple.
|In front of Bayon Temple|
|Paul thought he heard a noise|
|A face on all 4 sides|
|Why won't people get out of my shot?!?|
|In your face!|
|This is the one picture we got someone to take for us - can you tell I'm sweating?|
|Paul posing in a door frame|
|In your face!|
|Paul shouldn't be stickin' his fingers in mysterious holes|
|What is this for?|
|Oh, I see|
|Stray doggie hanging out|
|Leaving Bayon Temple|
|Outside of Bayon Temple|
We then continued to explore the entire Angkor Thom area.
|Baphuon Temple (front)|
|Baphuon Temple (back)|
|Crazy looking trees|
|Incredibly steep to get up and BTW, no dogs allowed!|
|But I made it up there|
|Pretty cool silhouettes|
|There were also these stacks of rocks|
|Walking down was kind of scary|
|I saw a centipede on the way down|
We were supposed to see some terrace of elephants and terrace of the leper king but somehow, we missed them on the path we walked and when we got out to the main road, our driver swooped us away to the next place.
Some facts about Angkor Thom:
- Occupies just over 2,000 acres (9 square km)
- Bayon Temple is the only Angkorian state temple to be built primarily as a Buddhist shrine dedicated to Budhha
- There are 54 towers
- Established in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII
- Tomb Raider was filmed here (specifically Bayon Temple)
Here we are at Chau Say Tevata...
|Yup, there's Paul ahead of me and stretching|
|We went around the side because there were some loud Chinese tourists in front|
|Further inside Chau Say Tevata|
|Yeah, I have a thing for these shots|
|Paul was imitating some ladies who thought they were at a model shoot|
|Looking towards the main entrance of Chau Sav Tevata|
|Across the way, was Thommanoneqa|
|We didn't go in because we were avoiding the peddlers|
|On the way to the next temple were these weird trees|
|This is Ta Keo Temple - made of sandstone|
|More stacks of rocks|
|Paul doesn't understand why I keep taking pictures of these stacks of rocks|
|I don't know, I think they look pretty cool|
|He just likes to hide behind them|
|I didn't climb all the way but it was really steep|
|Local kids hanging by Ta Keo Temple|
|Our next stop was Ta Phrohm Temple|
|They were trying to sell us flutes|
|These trees are distinctive to Ta Phrohm|
|All the world is a stage|
|Tomb Raider was also filmed at Ta Phrohm|
|Look at these trees|
|Walking around Ta Phrohm|
|They are working on restoring it|
|It looks like a scene from a movie! Maybe Tomb Raider...?|
|Paul is amazed by all the stones|
|These trees are ridiculous|
|More around the temple|
|Not sure what caught Paul's attention here|
|I don't think it was the impromptu photo shoot down the way|
|Yes, the tree was cradling me|
|Leaving Ta Phrohm|
The next temple we saw was Banteay Kdei Temple.
|Entrance to Banteay Kdei Temple|
|Paul was immediately accosted by a couple of locals|
|Ants marching - can you see them?|
Banteay Kdei Temple
|Paul hiding from me again|
Walking around Banteay Kdei Temple
|Local with his bike|
The last temple we visited before heading back to our room for some rest was Prasat Kravan Temple.
|A Hindu temple built in 921 dedicated to Vishnu|
|Close up of the central tower|
|The central tower|
|I liked these lions|
This is the only temple in Cambodia that has carvings within the brick.
|Carving inside the tower showing a goddess|
|All the lions in a row|
After some rest, we headed back out around 4:30 to climb to Bakheng Phnom to watch the sunset.
|Saw some elephants before heading up|
|We passed by Baksei Chamkrong - the only pyramid temple from 948 A.D. that survives|
|At the top of Bakheng Phnom|
|Across the way was a hill that was perfectly flat against the horizon|
|Say what? We were even able to see Angkor Wat!|
|Awaiting the sunset|
|Too cloudy...just like our sunrise|
|But still pretty|
|I like this one|
|Paul likes this one|
|View from the bottom|
After a long day, we ventured to Pub Street for some dinner. We went to the Red Piano where apparently Angelina Jolie hung out and the Tomb Raider drink was "initiated" by her.
|Lively Pub Street|
|I almost bought 500 to win the $100 and get the free T-shirt|
On May 31 we relaxed by the pool before having dinner on Pub Street.
|I noticed a rainbow halo around the sun while laying around|
|Taking a tuk-tuk to Pub Street|
We hung out around Pub Street a bit longer than we expected but left before we could get into any trouble despite Paul and I wanting to fight everyone that was around us.
|We ended up at Angkor What? Bar...|
The next day we were headed to Laos and we thankfully had a late afternoon flight.
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